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Will Joseph Sovereign

January 1, 1948 — June 23, 2022

Will Joseph Sovereign

Will Joseph Sovereign passed away Thursday, June 23, 2022, at McLaren Bay Region.  He was born January 1, 1948 to Will Fred and Mary (Kessel) Sovereign in Bay City, Michigan.  He attended Bay City Central High School where he began dating the love of his life, Lenore (Sporman) Sovereign, who predeceased him on April 2, 2019.  The two were inseparable, both graduating from Central Michigan University.  They married on May 20, 1972 at St. Stanislaus Parish, moving into the home they shared for over 28 years, where they raised three children, Rachel, Phoebe and Benjamin.
Bill earned his pilot's license at age 16, receiving it before his drivers license.  He achieved the rank of Eagle Scout out of Troop 156, Saginaw Bay Area Council, and was a member of the Order of the Arrow.  He enjoyed swimming and being a Scout Life Guard.  In 1967 he became an Assistant Scoutmaster of Troop 156.  While in college, Bill flew with his father to Arizona to pick up his Pitts Special, an open cockpit, bi-plane, that he flew back to Michigan side by side with his father.  He took first place at a national acrobatic competition, before hanging up his wings for fatherhood.  His hanger at James Clements Airport was well identified with Snoopy painted on it, a comic character he loved.
After graduating from college with a Bachelor of Science, Bill worked at the family business, Aladdin Company, with his father.  After the business closed, Bill earned his realtor license, and later an Associate Degree in Computer Science from Delta College.  He worked many jobs, real estate, insurance sales, substitute teacher, mental health, yet he enjoyed working at the Nature Center at Bay City State Park the most, giving guided hikes and tours through the seasons to many groups including classrooms.
Bill and his wife Lenore took meticulous care of their son while battling leukemia.  Bill rejoined Scouting as Cubmaster when he co-founded Pack 3111, in part for his son Ben while he was going through his illness.  For eight years of service as Cubmaster of Pack 3111, and Day Camp Director for the District, he earned the District Award of Merit, and Holy Trinity School proclaimed February 7, 1999, as Bill Sovereign Day.
He enjoyed many hobbies and interests obsessively, including astronomy, chess, computer programming, art, photography, weather, and nature studies.  He loved his coffee and sweets, especially Oreos.  The family he found with his wife and her family was most important, valued and loved, as he did not have a traditional family growing up.  His wife's family truly became his own.
Bill is survived by his children, Rachel Sovereign, Phoebe (Benjamin) Gohs, and Benjamin Sovereign, grandchildren Elliot Sovereign, Nathaniel Sovereign, Nicholas Courier, Bethany Gohs, Lillian Sovereign, Leah Sovereign, former son-in-law and continued family member Shane Zinke, bonus grandchildren Tyler and Katlynn Zinke, sisters-in-law Elizabeth Hulslander, Julie (Joseph Longo) Sauve, and many cousins, nieces, nephews, and their families.  He was predeceased by his loving wife, Lenore (Sporman) Sovereign, parents Will Fred and Mary (Kessel) Sovereign, wife's parents Walter and Marian (Boughton) Sporman, brothers-in-law Douglas and Thomas Sporman, and nephews Jeffery Hulslander and Wally Sporman.
At the request of Bill, cremation has taken place and a Memorial Gathering will be held on July 18, 2022.  Friends may gather informally at Bay City State Park, Shelter 4, campfire and memorial at 6 pm.  In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to Make A Wish Foundation.  For online condolences please visit www.gephartfuneralhome.com
To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Will Joseph Sovereign, please visit our flower store.

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